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Techne's blow-fill machine debuts

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April 4, 2012

ORLANDO, FLA. (April 4, 7:20 a.m. ET) — Almost a year after purchasing Italian machinery maker Techne SpA, Graham Packaging Co. Inc. (Booth 10536) jumped into the blow molding machinery market at NPE2012.

Techne-Graham Packaging Co. Italia introduced its newest machine — a fully-electric integrated blow-fill machine dubbed Unika — and promoted its Advance extrusion blow molding line.

Unika can blow, fill, label and cap mono or multilayer bottles on one unit. The machine is suitable for food and industrial applications, and can make bottles from 60 ml to 5L in size at rate up to 12,000 bottles per hour.

The machine has the potential to save users up to 40 percent in energy costs because it is comparatively small and runs completely on electricity, said David W. Cargile, senior vice president and general manager.

Unika is also available as a turnkey system, an attractive feature for companies new to the blow molding market, Cargile said.

As a company’s volume grows, a new carriage can be added to the machine and add capacity without purchasing a new machine, he added.

Techne first displayed its Advance line of fully-electric shuttle machines at NPE2009. It is available as a double shuttle or four shuttle unit, and is billed as a high-efficiency, low-energy, flexible machine.

Users can monitor both machine remotely using an app that shows the unit’s status and productivity and sends users an alert if any problems arise, Cargile said.

Unika, along with Techne’s existing machines, are attracting customers to the Techne-Graham partnership.

Most of Techne’s customers are end users who operate lower-volume operations, he said, adding that Techne is able to help those customers with customizations, like light-weighting and other modifications.

At first, customers were hesitant to buy machinery from a company that was also a competitor, Cargile said.

“It is unusual that a blow-molding company would buy a manufacturer and sell to the open market,” he added. “But we think it’s a good fit and the right time for the market.”